Danceable Swing Music

To Band Leaders,
When more dancers fill the dance floor to D.J. music than to live band music, dancers are giving you a message; When dancers prefer to attend a Venue where D.J. music is exclusively played rather than attend a Venue with live band music, they are sending you a message. When dancers fill the floor with D.J. music of the 1940' & 1950's, they are sending you a message. When your tempo exceeds 180 bpm, and the dance floor empties, the dancers are sending you a message.
Glenn Miller's biography written by George T. Simon, Glenn's close friend who begins his biography with, "I met Glenn Miller for the first time a couple of years before he organized what was to become the most popular band the world has ever heard." Glenn's primary concern in forming his band was two fold: developing a new distinctive sound; and with a rhythm (and tempo) that was danceable. It wasn't a coincident that Benny Goodman was one of his closest friends and a primary influence on Glenn musical style with trombones and a clarinet dominating the Glenn Miller Style.
Today's band leaders seem to have lost Glenn's formula for success; a distinctive sound with a danceable rhythm. Ray Anthony, a former Glenn Miller musician seems to be the last of the 'Musical Renaissance' (I said it first) bands. The problem as I see it, is that too many Band leaders are 'ego stressed', and rather than make a serious objective effort to provide rhythmic, danceable Swing music, they are influenced by 'current' best selling music, be it 2000 Hip Hop or 1920's Charleston style, and very often avoiding playing the Classics like Charlie Barnet's Cherokee, Millers 'Tuxedo Junction' or Shaw's, 'Begine the Beguine' .
The Renaissance artist was among the most creative in history, but they were astute enough to recognize the genius of Michelangelo, the Master of them all, and borrowed, imitated or studied with the Master painter, sculpture, architect of all time.
Although much of the best Swing music was written and recorded in the 1930's It was in the 1950's with the additions of many new Swing compositions that the Swing dancing craze blossomed in Southern California. I am convinced, after listening to the bands in Southern California for the past four years, that today's local bands are missing the boat and are being mislead by the present popularity of Swing dancing into thinking they, the present local bands, are responsible for the world's Swing craze going on today.
Was it Goodman, Miller, Shaw and Ellington who were the Michaelangelos of the Musical Renaissance of the 1930's to the 1950's or was it the composers like Johnny Mercer, Joe Green, Berlin, Cole Porter, Sammy Cahn, Van Heusen and countless others, who were the Michaelangelos of our American Musical Renaissance? How do we separate the artists from the art?
Wake up Band Leaders! Watch your dance floor! Play those Classical danceable songs of the Musical Renaissance of the 1950's, and watch the attenDANCE at your performances grow. Go for it, until something better comes along!

See you at Suzy Q's Friday night,

Black Sheep www.lindybylanza
Some tunes are almost always a hit. Sometimes musicians get tired of laying the "same old songs", but they need to remember that some songs never die.

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